Saturday, February 25, 2006


We had visitors last night, up from the country, and I wanted to be a good host.

They asked me where they should go today and I listed all sorts of wonderous Dublin places to shop, browse, laze and gaze romantically into one anothers eyes in.

Waved them off, smiles and hugs.

Two hours later, with my brother and cousin, both teenagers but on good behaviour as they are out for the afternoon with me, we're making our loud, chatty way towards IMMA to partake of a bit of cake and maybe a slice of art, when we get stuck in traffic on the quays.

The news starts on the radio, and we hear that there are riots in town. We are joking and laughing, but we begin to listen to it, and all of us feel concern.

We decide to head towards home, and stop for coffee on the way, talking all the time about how strange and untrue it sounds that cars are being torched and building slabs thrown on our shabbily not chic but loved by me O'Connell Street.

Then I remember where I've sent my guests, and phone calls are made. They were caught up in it unawares, and had to run along with crowds of people down O'Connell Street. She had been shook by it and I just feel awful.

Later on TV, we watch the footage. My city, probably not beautiful by anyone elses standards, and I see these people with scarves on their faces, running riot wanting to create fear and mayhem, rejoicing in destruction.

I think of a million things - anger, fury, fear, sadness - I wonder what compassion it is that these people lack.

There is so much trust in the lives we build here together, that we choose to live. And if we aren't careful, it seems on a moment's notice, a knife's edge, that the laughter can be replaced by terror, by tears and loss.

It isn't a perfect life we have, I'm as easy to point to it's flaws as those wearing scarves to mask their faces. I will sit at a table with any man or woman and listen to their words, their perspective, and even if I don't agree, I will allow us to come to a consensus about the way forward.

But these men with anger so vicious they don't even need to form an argument or a perspective, that they think they can wreck havoc on my fellow dwellers and users of this city today, for these I hold no hope, I see only shades of black.

Why indeed. It's a very sad day for Dublin. Good post.
a little birdy tells me a lot of the agitators were bussed in from up north-ways. still, no excuse for the ridiculous behaviour on everyone's part. what were the powers-that-be thinking in granting that marching licence in the first place?
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